Tag Archives: Churches

Should church members question preachers about the doctrine that is not in the Holy Bible?

In our previous article, we looked at one of the great possibilities of diversity in Christendom and Christianity, many ‘theologians‘ interpreting the bible and introducing human doctrines into their religious groups or churches.

In every church, we can find preachers telling the flock to do this or that and to believe this or that. In all those churches their clergy claims that they are showing the only One God, though many preach about a Triune or three-headed god, in contradiction to the Biblical teaching that there is Only One True God Who is a Singular Spirit Being no man can see.

When we hear the question

Should church members question preachers about the doctrine that is not in the Holy Bible?

we would say that each individual in a church or in a community of believers always should investigate what is really said in their community and always should compare the teachings of their leaders with what they can find in the Book of books, the Holy Scriptures or the Bible. To the above mentioned question, we would add

Who or what do you want to believe most, the Word of the Bible or the sayings of the priest, pastor or preacher of your church?

It is not cultural Christianity that “often suffocated authentic faith and facilitated superficial religion“, but it were those who went with the schism of 313 and the Nicene Creed, preferring to go for a triune god instead of keeping to the God of the Bible. First it was the Roman Catholic Church who ‘suffocated’ the real followers of Christ and even went after them to burn them at the stake. Later the protestants, instead of going back to the Biblical teachings continued in the tradition of the Catholic Church instructing their members the human doctrines instead of Biblical doctrines. They created rules and regulations which are not at all in the Bible. Some of them teach about dispensationalism, by which the seven dispensations and very names of the dispensations are also manufactured. Several protestant churches bring forth a system that contradicts the Scripture.

The System says the age of the Law lasted until the Day of Pentecost. The Bible says the Law and the prophets were until John – not Calvary. Luke 16:16 The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it. {The Scriptures Versus the System}

Many churches also created a hierarchy and gave a special position to their leaders which is not described nor encouraged to have, according to the Scriptures. Some even go so far to place themselves in the place of the Jews, calling themselves the Chosen People of God, then forgetting that the Jews for ever will be the People of God.

Lots of churches do not spend much attention to what is really written in the bible. They seem to forget that divine illumination shall come to those who read the Bible and are willing to listen to God’s Voice. Though this requires are right attitude and our faith in those Sacred Writings. If we believe the Bible is the Word of God, and that the Bible is the ultimate authority over our lives then our eyes shall be opened and we shall come to see and understand what others are telling is according to the bible or not.

We always should trust God more than human beings and should refer to their sayings with the material we can find in the Holy Scriptures.

Theologians may do a lot to have you to believe that you would not be able to understand what is written in the Bible. Those implying that those without a PhD aren’t qualified to speak or write publicly about religion, are misleading the people and are wanting people to believe that God is partial and only wants to give insight to those who are learned. Those people who have gone to a theological college are closing ranks.

“It looks like clericalism… This kind of elitism may be more subtle than language of schisms and wounds and splits, but it has its own unpleasant implications.” {Who is qualified to write theology?}

However, one should know that God does not exclude anyone. Anyone can come to God, and Jehovah God is ready to nurture and provide insight to anyone who is open to receive His Wisdom.

The traditional goal of Christian theology might have been to develop a better understanding of God so that we could think and speak rightly about God within the context of a life governed by our faith in Christ and our discipleship to him in community with other Christians, but already for centuries the study of theology has concentrated more on the many writings of human beings who were priests, bishops or theologians, but only a few hours a week are given to the Word of God.

Under Christendom, politicians mouthed pieties they didn’t believe, and persons attended church for business contacts and socialising. Whilst in those churches those present did not hear so many words from Scripture, but got to hear lots of words written and said by human beings.

Lots of those speaking in church count more on those writers from the past instead of going by the anointed ones from God. They rely on the knowledge of their predecessors without questioning their words or comparing them with what is really in the Bible.

A bible student, Shawna N. writes

Some are so set on their interpretation that to suggest any new insight or different perspective will get you shot down pretty quick usually with scriptures that remind you that only God is God and we are not.

That we are but mere serveants who should not make ourselves out to be more than that. That we should not add or take away from the scriptures, that we should repent etc.etc.etc. and I think it has caused many to retreat and to isolate.

Many believe they have the Bible figured out. That their interpretation of the scriptures is the right interpretation and any challenge of it is to add to it or take away from it or that perhaps you are thinking you are higher than God.

The attitude and saying of certain preachers made people think about their church. This way lots of people left their church for what it is. Many do not attend church anymore, not because they cannot find one that worships the God of the Bible but because they cannot find a church of the Bible.

Shawna N. writes

I believe that it is crucial in studying Gods word to meditate on the scriptures. To slow way down and to meditate on every word in every scripture and to pray for God to help us to understand it .To know that our ways are not His ways our thoughts are not His thoughts .

Many of us grew up being taught that Jesus is going tocome crashing through the sky one day and thatbChristians will just vanish one day though the bible says that we are to Live by Faith Not by Site we are to expect a physical rapture and as long as we do and as long as we expect Jesus to show up in the physical to save the day the day will not be saved Is He not already with us and in us are we not His hands and feet?

Michael Hickenbotham, member of the Church of Jesus Christ for over 65 years the above first mentioned question a good question. He writes

I believe we all, even the most devoted disciples, lean to our own understanding most of the time. The phrase is found in Proverbs 3:5:

5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Proverbs 3

Notice that the verse starts with “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart”. If we always do that first, the second part of the verse will take care of itself. Trust or faith in the Lord needs to the primary guiding principle in all the important decisions in our lives.

In order for us not to lean to our own understanding, we need to be influenced by and follow the inspiration of Lord through the Holy Spirit all the time. For most of us, that seems to be more a goal than a commandment.

Not relying on the arm of flesh (Jer. 17:5; 2 Cor. 5:7; 2 Nephi 4:34; D&C 1:19) is another way of saying the same thing.

Benson’s Commentary indicates that we should

“Wholly and securely rely upon God’s wisdom, power, and goodness, and upon his providence and promises, for direction and help in all thine affairs and dangers. Lean not to thine own understanding

— Think

And that thinking is what a lot of people prefer not to do. They expect others to think for them and to take action for them. In many churches we can find lots of passive members, just sitting quiet, following the Sunday service, never reacting to what is said in church by that one who is standing in front or on the pulpit.

Michael Kern, B.A. Applied Linguistics & Biblical Languages, Moody Bible Institute replies affirmative to the question if we should question preachers about the doctrine that is not in the Holy Bible

Absolutely! The pastor’s first and foremost responsibility is to lead his congregation. If he is leading them down the wrong path, then he is failing at his job. Those in positions of great authority are held greatly accountable for their leadership.

I will say this, though: he may be teaching something that is biblical, even if you don’t see it. Some Scriptures are very difficult to interpret, and we have multitudes of different doctrines and denominations to prove it.

Before you challenge your pastor, take the time to research the subject yourself. You may find that he knew what he was talking about. If you find that the subject doesn’t align with Scripture in any way that you can see, then there is a likely chance that he is leading you astray.

If that’s the case, I would advise approaching your pastor one-on-one and asking him how he came to the doctrine in question. Maybe his explanation will make sense, maybe it won’t. Have a discussion with him and try to reach a consensus on the issue regarding what he has been teaching.

If he absolutely refuses to listen to biblical proof that he is wrong, and can provide no satisfactory answer for his teachings, then you move on to the last resort: bring your findings to the elders of the church, and ask them to speak with him. If all else fails, disciplinary action may need to be taken.

Sheryl Powell replies

If they are lovers of truth and they come across scripture that contradict what they have heard something is wrong. Now they may have it wrong and need to be adjusted with proper scriptures. If that is not the case and the ideology of the Pastor is wrong, perhaps it is time to seek love elsewhere.

The Catholic Sister Julie Distel her idea is that

church members of any denomination should free to question, in my opinion. I would suggest questioning in the proper environment – perhaps an appointment – not challenging the preacher during a service!

Now be mindful that some Christian groups, particularly the Catholic Church, has always honored tradition as a valid and rich source for our faith. Many condemn this and will quote Scripture about “no source but the Bible.” That is their belief and God bless them. We believe differently – and God bless us too.

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Preceding

If the Bible tells us not to lean upon our own understanding, are preachers, and Bible professors, leaning upon the theirs’?

When looking for God or wanting to relate to the Most High Divine God

Rhetoric and Biblical Truth

7 Ways To Become A Better Christian

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Additional reading

  1. Looking to the East and the West for Truth
  2. Concern needed for the one who has no questions
  3. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  4. Have you also been deceived
  5. Why is it that Christians don’t understand Muslims and Muslims do not understand Christians?
  6. Challenging claim 1 Whose word
  7. Divine revelation mediated by Moshe and other selected people
  8. Vital importance of reading and following the Kitvei Hakodesh
  9. Reading to grow and to become wise concerning the most important thing in life 1 Times of reading
  10. One of the most important Truths
  11. Bible Inspired Word of God
  12. Everything from the Bible is useful for humans
  13. Importance to read the Bible regularly and gain understanding
  14. Bible exceptional Book of books where nothing can be taken away or added
  15. Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #1 Pre King James Bible
  16. Deep sense of consciousness of the brokenness of our system
  17. Face to Face
  18. Preparing for the Kingdom
  19. Good or bad preacher
  20. Looking for a primary cause and a goal that can not offer philosophers existing beliefs
  21. An unbridgeable gap
  22. Trinitarians making their proof for existence of God look ridiculous #2
  23. Constantine a brutal sociopath getting the believers in a God man on his side and creating a Christian church
  24. Mental Enslavement and Sins Syndrome (MESS)
  25. Redemption #8 Righteousness by Faith
  26. Different wineskins
  27. Not many coming out with their community name
  28. A strange thing might happen when you come under Christ
  29. When seeing a biblically sound church
  30. As a small church needing encouragement
  31. Invest in Faith working together arm in arm

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Related

  1. On Religion
  2. Celebrating Christendom’s Demise?
  3. The Scriptures Versus the System
  4. Who is qualified to write theology?
  5. Theology as Discipleship
  6. The Shifting Paradigms of the Gospel
  7. Father, Holy Spirit, & Son: When the Trinity is Out of Order
  8. three times a day
  9. what’s in the Bible?
  10. The Struggle to Believe the Bible
  11. Fitting The Right Pieces
  12. Five Reformation Principles
  13. In the Midst of Every Plague, God is Still A Mighty Fortress
  14. They Dreamed a Dream
  15. It is Easier to Change the Local Church than the Bible
  16. The Polarizing Effect Of Truth
  17. What I Love About the Bible Despite My Misgivings About It.
  18. To Show God’s Truthfulness
  19. The Christian’s Struggle to Be Good

4 Comments

Filed under Questions asked, Religious affairs

If the Bible tells us not to lean upon our own understanding, are preachers, and Bible professors, leaning upon the theirs’?

In our world, there are lots of people who consider themselves the only appropriate people to talk about the Bible, because they have studied at the university of theology and/or philosophy. The clergy with their priests and pastors in a variety of denominations all try to convince those coming into their church, that their church is the only true one.

Though we can find lots of denominations in Christendom, of which there are many where the clergy are not exactly behaving like Christ Jesus instructed. In Why there are so many denominations in Christendom we tried to give a short answer to a question many times posed. What is striking about many denominations in Christianity (or better: in Christendom) is that often not much attention is paid to the biblical texts. It is as if the Bible is only a small faits divers within religion.

The absence or minimisation of biblical content means that by paying more attention to human doctrines, more conflicts have also arisen, leading to splits in groups and thus to the emergence of multiple denominations.

So the question may be asked, why is it that the clergy of these denominations do not resort to the Book of Books, which can indeed give them the best information and teachings?

At the question:

If the Bible tells us not to lean upon our own understanding, are preachers, and Bible professors, leaning upon the theirs’?

We think that is the whole problem in Christendom, people leaning upon their own understanding, following more the philosophical and theoretical theologian writings of human beings instead of going by what is written black on white in the Holy Scriptures.

Profile photo for D. Paul Walker D. Paul Walker, An Elder with many years in the faith, writes

Many reject the teaching of the Bible based on their own faulty belief such as that something is impossible when the Bible says there is nothing impossible for God.

According to Theodore Tsistinas

the understanding of the bible is plain to those who read it with the purpose of not challenging it. That’s why the language has been changed from time to time because people wanted their own opinion to be expressed. The entire bible is the history of the people of God from the Jews to the Christians. There is one god spoken of in the bible. Its people and their personal interpretation that has challenge the understanding spoken very clearly in scripture. But then stupid is what stupid does and the mass of humanity would rather listen to the opinions of men rather that the wisdom of God.

Michael Ballai writes

There’s a certain amount of, hopefully, Biblical understanding that a student of the Bible can readily bring to a given text of scripture or how the Bible explains an appropriate worldview. I know stuff after more than three decades that are bedrock to the Bible and I have no intention of putting my personal two cents in on what God says.I revisit passages regularly and seek to consider them afresh each time because I know there is more in there than I have seen previously. People who are lazy simply deprive themselves of the depth of treasure.God is perfectly ok with how an individual preacher chooses to explain something in their own style as long as it doesn’t get in the way of the message.A preacher is called to cut it straight. It lines up with God’s understanding. The reason we do it is to tell it according to the way God sees it. And that is how God wants to sanctify us in getting us to line up our understanding with Him.

Scott Bissell sees one of the difficulties in what we think is a major issue in many churches, namely when they quote half a verse, or as we would add, take just part of a verse and use it out of context. In case people would check more what is taught at their church with was is written in the Bible, more people would grow closer to a unity of Bible-reading people.We may not forget that the attitude to the Bible is of paramount importance.Robert Hoge reacts to this by writing

Scripture is subject to endless interpretation, some of which is purely tendentious. I recently got a comment from someone who was gushing over the Bible as the greatest collection of symbolism in the world, or something to that effect. My own principle when reading and teaching the Bible comes out of a book I read long ago but no longer own:“When the literal meaning makes sense, seek no other meaning.”Not only does this save a lot of effort, it also ensures that we don’t add or take away anything. Rev. 22:18–19 says,“18 I warn every one who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if any one adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book,19 and if any one takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.”For all I’m concerned, these last words of the Bible apply to the whole of the Bible, not just to its last book, Revelation.

That warning may make it very difficult to teachers of the Word of God, preachers and/or pastors, having them to be very careful what they say and how they say it. They always should control if their teaching is in accordance with the teaching of the Bible.For those who read the Scriptures, there is the danger that they got into the trap of their church to which they belong and that they cannot do away of their own indoctrinations or doctrines of their own church. They are so used to think in the same way as their church teaches that it has become very difficult to read the words like they are written in the Bible. For example when there is written in the bible about Jesus “the son of God“, many read “god the son“, which is something totally different from what there is written and from what God said on several occasions when He declared Jesus to be His only begotten beloved son.According Michael Abernathy

most people approach the Scripture with a certain bias. Before they even open their Bible, they have creeds and denominational positions that they force upon a text. On the other hand, most of the preachers I know spend a great deal of time searching the Scripture and praying for God’s enlightenment. Yes, they use their minds to help them understand what God has written. But anyone who says they don’t do that is either lying or deluded.

Profile photo for Matthew HeadyMatthew Heady likes to extend the above question and asks

Does not everyone, including the questioner “lean” on others? Why restrict the question to just preachers and professors?What the biblical teaching refers to is not facts and conclusions which are known to or drawn from the minds of humans. The biblical teaching refers to how a person is actually informed about the Triune God of the Bible.

Here in his answer already gives a big sign of how he himself fell for the human doctrinal teaching, because in the Bible there is no such information on a Trinity, though there is a clear teaching we may have no other gods than the Divine Creator God, Who is a Singular eternal (= having no birth + no death) all-knowing Spirit Being Who is the Almighty God above all gods.Heady continues

There is nothing a sinful human being with a corrupt (and limited) understanding and reason of all things may do. There is not any thought, word, or action, that will allow a person to recognize the Triune God, they may only realize that a god is, but not the Triune God.

People when willing to give their full attention to the Words of the Bible, shall come to see clear and understand that there is no such thing to worship as a three-headed god. There may be many gods in the world but people should only keep to that Only One True God God of gods of the Bible, Jehovah, Who is the God of Israel.

It is this knowledge of God, revealed in His Word, the Holy Scriptures, that is what a person must “lean” on. Not the thought and practices of humans. They will get us nowhere. Our minds come into play after we are gifted by faith in Christ and are then able to properly understand and explain to others Biblical teaching and practices.

writes Matthew Heady.

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Continues with: Should church members question preachers about the doctrine that is not in the Holy Bible?

Preceding

Confrontation by people telling lies to force others to avoid the targetted groups

Daring to speak in multicultural environment

Many opportunities given by God

Christian denominations as pots in the desert

Having to learn and benefit from other Christian denominations

Preaching as Public Speaking

Maybe it is About Me

Hitler and Christianity: Some Trends in Interpretation

++MAKE SURE OF ALL THINGS

Additional reading

  1. A world with or without religion
  2. Science, belief, denial and visibility 2
  3. People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations
  4. Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one
  5. Approachers of ideas around gods, philosophers and theologians
  6. Digging in words, theories and artefacts
  7. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  8. Protestant denominations of the Low Countries and Abraham Kuyper
  9. Counterfeit Gospels
  10. Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26
  11. Religious people and painful absence of spring of living water
  12. Denominationalism exists because?
  13. Why the church keeps losing it’s grounds.
  14. Why there are so many denominations in Christendom
  15. Tri-union gods and Pagan, Christian, Muslim and Jewish views on the Creator God
  16. Reading to grow and to become wise concerning the most important thing in life 1 Times of reading
  17. Literalist and non-literalist views
  18. From Bibles and other religious writings and those who witness for Jehovah
  19. Exceptionalism and Restricting Laws
  20. 2013 Lifestyle, religiously and spiritualy
  21. Pastoral discipline and dissent from papal teaching
  22. Not true or True Catholicism and True Islam
  23. Good or bad preacher
  24. Many churches
  25. Religion and believers #7 Independent and organised form of existence of a religion
  26. Looking for a biblically sound church
  27. In all circumstances preaching Christ
  28. You Are The Truth
  29. The Most Appropriate teacher and Scoffers in our contemporary age
  30. From those preaching the Gospel and Baptism in Jesus name
  31. A Book to trust #1 Background book for debate
  32. Challenging claim 1 Whose word
  33. Divine revelation mediated by Moshe and other selected people
  34. Vital importance of reading and following the Kitvei Hakodesh
  35. Reading to grow and to become wise concerning the most important thing in life 1 Times of reading
  36. One of the most important Truths
  37. Bible Inspired Word of God
  38. Everything from the Bible is useful for humans
  39. Importance to read the Bible regularly and gain understanding
  40. Bible exceptional Book of books where nothing can be taken away or added
  41. Bible in the first place #1/3
  42. Where to learn the truth
  43. Lovers of God, seekers and lovers of truth
  44. Engaging the culture without losing the gospel
  45. By the closing down of the Association for Biblestudy
  46. Challenging claim 4 Inspired by God 3 Self-consistent Word of God
  47. Different wineskins
  48. Manifests for believers #5 Christian Union
  49. The Bible: is it contradictory?
  50. Those willing to tarnish
  51. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  52. Those who call the Christadelphians a cult
  53. Christadelphians or Messianic Christians or Messianic Jews
  54. Jeshuaists, Carrying the name of Christ
  55. About Three-in-Ten U.S. Adults Are Now Religiously Unaffiliated
  56. When there is secrecy involved

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WILL RESEARCH SHIPWRECK YOUR FAITH

Related

  1. What is faith and is it the only thing required
  2. What Do We Mean by the Word Christian?
  3. Variations of Christianity
  4. Religious Population Is Growing
  5. The Problem with Christianity
  6. One Body
  7. TRUTH – I believe that God’s greatest disappointment in the Christian Church is our lack of solid unity
  8. Catechesis 101 | Church: Did Jesus intend one Church or many denominations?
  9. Which Church Would Jesus Choose?
  10. A Call for Unity
  11. Unity
  12. This is Church Unity?
  13. Simple Difference
  14. About the different denominations
  15. Division Among Christians
  16. From One Religion To Another
  17. Christian denominations (sects)
  18. Denominations 2 We are divided on the question of authority
  19. Denominations 3 It seems there are some Catholics who feel free to discard the teachings of their Church when they conflict with their lifestyle.
  20. Denominations Part 3.
  21. Denominations part 4
  22. Denomination’s 5..Jehovah’s Witnesses.
  23. The Difference in Denominations
  24. Are Different Denominations Okay?
  25. Do Denominations Divide Us?
  26. Are denominational differences a blot on the church?
  27. Does Denominationalism Blind You to the Truth?
  28. Denominational ABC’s: Advantages, Burdens and Controls (Part One)
  29. Putting Denominational Disagreements in Perspective for the World and the Church
  30. Denominational Dialogue
  31. Denominations Losing Internal Influence
  32. Bethel, the BGC, and the Decline of Denominational Financial Support for Christian Higher Education
  33. We’re All Heretics Now
  34. Roger Olson on Denominations and Christian Unity
  35. Faith/Belief
  36. Is religious faith madness?
  37. Declining Denominational Support for Evangelical Colleges?
  38. Charlottesville and storms
  39. thoughts on the death of the Church
  40. By What Authority? – A Non-Denominational Response
  41. Rethinking Scripture
  42. Please don’t call me a Christian
  43. Why My Family Is Changing Churches (and Denominations)
  44. Are Pastors Lying to You?
  45. There are many Trinities!
  46. Christianity vs. Catholicism
  47. Baptists, Catholics, and the Protestants
  48. Are you a “hypenated-Christian”?
  49. Embrace diversity by embracing tribalism. It’s okay to be different
  50. Being Religious Is Not The Way
  51. Deceived
  52. Can Christians now remain in the Methodist Church?
  53. Why are there so many splits in the Presbyterian Church? Here’s an Explanation
  54. Self Deception Part III – Wolves Among Us
  55. On the Intersection of Differences and Unity in the Body of Christ
  56. Throwing Away The Wrong Thing
  57. Christianize Christianity (6)
  58. Isolation of the Church
  59. My church History (Part 2)
  60. Is There Life After Leaving Church?
  61. If I Were Starting A Denomination From Scratch
  62. Nuanced beliefs
  63. Many Christians Are Known for What They Are Against…Unfortunately
  64. The Holy Struggle
  65. Brand Ambassador or Christ’s Ambassador?
  66. Can I attend an InterVarsity Christian Fellowship instead of a church while at college?
  67. What Does It Mean To Be Non-Denominational?
  68. Am I angry at Christianity?
  69. Letter to a Friend (2o3)
  70. How to Avoid Being a Lazy, Arrogant Christian
  71. After I was lost in sin, I was lost in church…
  72. Experiencing More of the Church
  73. I Am Not A Denomination – Episode #101
  74. Can you find your religious practices in the Bible?
  75. How Many Gods?
  76. Swiss Cheese Theology
  77. Unity (Ephesians 4:1-10)
  78. On belongingSo whose right?
  79. Warning! Get Out of Her – My People!
  80. The American Gospel

4 Comments

Filed under Questions asked, Religious affairs, Vragen van lezers

Where are the church-members gone

When COVID subsided somewhat, and the nation began to open its doors again, churches also began to open and regroup initially with some level of precautions involving masks and social distancing. After several weeks, most churches were back to a semblance of normal operation. What wasn’t normal was that only about half of the pews or chairs were filled. Half of the congregation was looking around wondering where the other half went. Research shows that a few are still not comfortable with indoor crowds, since the pandemic has not yet fully ended. A much greater number have grown too comfortable with watching services from their home and are still in that mode. And, the hard truth is many have simply gotten out of the habit of church, actual attendance or on TV, and can’t get motivated to return. Being an online church member or avoiding church altogether can become addictive, but it comes at a price, spiritually and socially. {It’s Time to Get Back into Church}

Find out more:

  1. Has Bible Engagement during Coronavirus Increased or Decreased?
  2. About Three-in-Ten U.S. Adults Are Now Religiously Unaffiliated
  3. Less Americans interested in praying
  4. My perspective: Virtual v Physical church attendance

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Related

  1. Normal Christian Doctrine Explained: Church Attendance
  2. Millions skipped church during pandemic; will they return?
  3. Why We’re Not Going Back to Church
  4. Probe 2020 Survey Report #3: Religious Practices and Purpose for Living
  5. Why are people attending church less frequently?
  6. “I Can’t Come To Church Because Of Covid”
  7. Sellers: The Church is Losing Its Way
  8. Church attendance is often a distraction from biblical Christianity
  9. Is church attendance linked to higher rates of coronavirus?
  10. Some Assembly Required
  11. Only megachurches and “minichurches” in the United States?
  12. Where Should You Go to Encourage & Be Encouraged?

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

No religion mentioned in the Torah for non-Jews

It is not because there is no religion mentioned in the Torah for goyim or non-Jews that they should not have a religion or should not have to come to the Elohim. It is also not so that when people call themselves Christian and would go regularly to mass or to a church service that they are serving God or being recognised as His children.

In Christendom we can find lots of people who have an other god than the one of Abraham, though the divine Creator is very clear Who He is and what He wants from His people. Also Abraham did very well know Who the Most High God was.

Looking at the many churches in Christendom we can see that several churches altered the Torah and that the main church is breaking one of the laws in the Torah itself. Several people who come to study the Bible become angry when they see how their churches fooled them. It is a pity that they than abandon the faith in God. Some of them are then trying to find their way in Judaism. A few do not lose their faith in Christ and find their way in Christianity, becoming a member of one of the several non-trinitarian groups or churches.

It is wrong to think that those in the main churches

only have what the church has given them, altered scriptures and mistranslations. {I Hope They Get It}

Every human being is able to hear the Word of God. Wherever he lives there is some way to hear God’s Word. Those living in the industrialised countries have no excuse at all. For them there are enough means to get in touch with the Word of God. They have the printed material, like Bible books, other books and brochures, but also electronic devices where they can find several applications presenting the Word of God.

Questioning what we really believe is the only way to ever know what we really believe and why. {I Hope They Get It}

and that is what each individual has to do: searching himself what is the truth of God.

It is totally wrong to think that there would not be churches telling the biblical Truth. Luckily we can find many churches all over the world which proclaim God’s Word. It is not because the main

church says a lot of things that don’t line up with His word. {I Hope They Get It}

that we should say

No, the New Testament is not His word. There is no place in it where it says that He is speaking. {I Hope They Get It}

In the Greek writings or Brit Chadashah we are told about the one who is sent by God and authorised to speak in His name. As such the Messianic writings are a continuation of the Hebrew writings, bringing hope for those who are not of the Judaic faith. Because also for the non-Jews the way to the restored relationship with God is opened. This thanks to the ransom offering of Jeshua, the sent one from God.

The writer may have become very frustrated by his old church, which makes it a pity he now concluded that the work delivered by Jesus and his apostles would not be from God. Pity also that he thinks

All through the Torah and the Prophets, it tells us that G-d is speaking and to whom He is speaking. No Christian writing can make this claim. {I Hope They Get It}

He seems to forget that the Torah and Prophets are part of the Christian writings too.

There is no need for a middleman. That is one of the lies of the church. {I Hope They Get It}

writes Mr. Bouker who with ‘Convert Corner’ is

attempting to provide more than just proof that the Christian religion is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. {About Convert Corner}

He is a former Christian

who is currently going through an Orthodox conversion to Judaism.  {About Convert Corner}

and spent years believing what he was told to believe by preachers and teachers instead of going to research the Bible for himself. Clinging to church doctrines no wonder he feels that he

had very little knowledge of the G-d of Israel. {About Convert Corner}

He seems to forget that the God of Israel wants a good relationship with all His creatures and by means of sending His only begotten beloved son made it possible that all can be saved from the curse of sin. But naturally each person has to decide himself or herself what way to go. The sent one from God, Jeshua, (Jesus Christ) shows the way to God. By him non-Jews also can come into the restored relationship with God. For goyim or gentiles there is also a way to have a religion which can be accepted by the God of Abraham.

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Filed under Knowledge & Wisdom, Religious affairs

Religions and Mainliners

In this world we have many sorts of religions and in each religion many subdivisions may be found. In Christendom there are groups which for good reason would prefer to speak of Christendom and Christianity and would prefer to say the world we are living in has also a Mainline Christendom instead of a Mainline Christianity.

Map of the distribution of Christians of the world

Map of the distribution of Christians of the world (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Christendom is full of “Tradition” and has embraced the world whilst Christianity would prefer to stay disconnected from traditional worldly matters and though living in this world would not like to be “of this world”. In Christianity you also may find different groups or churches, which all want to honour God the Divine Creator. They would consider the main churches like the Catholic Church (Roman Catholics, Orthodox Catholics, Charismatic Catholics, Latin Catholic Church, etc.) Anglican Church, Church of England, Reformed Church, Calvinist Church, Lutheran ChurchBaptist Church, Episcopalian Church,  and Methodist Church, with the various Presbyterian groups.

English: Major branches within Protestantism (...

English: Major branches within Protestantism (excludes Restoration movements): Diagram of Protestant denominations and movements; see also Image:ChristianityBranches.svg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some might have been in a certain time of history bigger groups or not been considered out of mainstream, like the smaller denominations, such as the Amish, Mennonites, Quakers. Others like the Mormons, Seventh-day Adventists, Christian Scientists, and Pentecostals may have been at first very small groups, but have gained a firm place in certain countries and have even become the main church in a country.

The Charismatic protestant churches and certain Evangelical churches could be seen as separated from Mainline. Some people, like Joel L. Watts who is building up a (sorta) response to Thom Rainer’s 20 Influential Evangelicals list. Unsettled Christianity company wants to  include mainline Christians, but in asking the question on Facebook, the administrator was equally struck by the conversation about who and what is a mainliner.

Calvinist church

Calvinist church (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Conspicuous is that many many consider ‘Mainline Protestants’ having a different perspective. By many they are considered to have a more modernist theology. So, for instance, they would read the Bible, not as the inerrant word of God, according to Joel L. Watts, but as a historical document, which has God’s word in it and a lot of very important truths, but that needs to be interpreted in every age by individuals of that time and that place.

We would consider “mainstream religions” those which adheres to the orthodox standard teachings of the five major religions of the world. Those being the groups in Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism which follow their biggest groups their core teachings. In those groups can be groups which do not want to belong or to take their mainstream teachings. In Christianity we can find the groups who stayed in the line of the Jewish thinking Jeshua, better known today as Jesus Christ. They believe like most Jews that there is only One God of gods Who is the Divine Creator of everything. Though the difference with the Jews, except with the Messianic (non-trinitarian) Jews is that they accept the Master Teacher Jeshua to be the son of God who has brought not only the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God, but who also by the Grace of God brought Salvation for all humankind. In those groups or churches who want to distantiate themselves from mainstream church are the non-trinitarian Baptist which became nearly extinct by the strong hold of the Baptist Unions who pressured the trinitarian teaching on their members. In the 1980-90ies most non-trinitarian Baptist went over to other non-trinitarian churches, like the Bible Students, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Church of God, The Church of Abrahamic Faith, Assemblies of God, the Nazarene Friends, the Restoration Church or to the Christadelphians.

Those non-trinitarian believers worship the God of the Hebrews, Whom they consider to be an Eternal Spirit Who is universal and indivisible. This God Who can not be seen by man, or they would die, also ordered not to make any image of Him. Like Jews and Muslims they would never create image of God because it is in His Law and because the infinite cannot be expressed in a mere image. They, like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, all exhibit practices and/or teachings that are not among the more “traditional” practices and teachings of the mainstream churches.

The majority of mainstream Jews do believe a Messiah will one day come. In the contemporary movement we can find Jews who do believe that Jeshua is the send one of God who is going to bring salvation and going to break all human ruling. By those messianic Jews to groups can be found; the ones who believe Jesus is the son of God and an ordinary person, not a divinity like the Christian trinitarian Jesus; and a group who strangely enough take Jesus also to be God, and do not consider it braking with the rules and regulations nor in contradiction with all the words said to the prophets, like Abraham, Isaac and Isaiah.
Those non-stream Jews and Christians, like the Muslims have a similar belief concerning the unity and infinity of God. They do believe in Jesus, and even believe he will return in the end times, but once again he is considered a mere mortal, just like any other prophet, brought back entirely through the Will of God, not through any power wielded by Jesus himself.

Lots of Christians take offence of those who do not believe in a trinitarian god. Several of them are as fundamental as we can find fundamentalists by the Muslims, who hate those who do not think and follow the rules they are following.

It is this hate between believers in a god or in the God, that made non-believers in a divine creature or Supreme Being, make to consider religion the base of all the violence in this world. But we do think in case God would not have been there as Divine Creator and several people following him, people anyhow would have created religions, because all those things they could not understand or explain were transposed unto gods, like the god of light, the god of thunder etc..

The thinking of man, philosophies, system of ethics, cultural norms, etc.would have in any case created the syncretism or the formation of new religious ideas from multiple distinct sources, often-contradictory sources.

Some neopagan religions are also strongly syncretic. Look for example at Wicca which consciously draws from a variety of different pagan religious sources as well as Western ceremonial magic and occult thought, which is traditionally very Judeo-Christian in context. However, neopagan reconstructionists such as Asatruar are not particularly syncretic, as they attempt to understand the recreate Norse beliefs and practices to the best of their ability.

Many mainstream religions created smaller groups of which some became quite big. From Islam came the Baha’i faith which recognizes Krishna and Zoroaster as prophets, though it really doesn’t teach much of Hinduism or Zoroastrianism as being Baha’i beliefs.

English: A colour-coded world map showing the ...

English: A colour-coded world map showing the state religions of applicable nations. Buddhism Islam Shi’a Islam Sunni Islam Orthodox Christianity Protestantism (in England: Anglicanism) Catholicism (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Believers and non-believers should come to see that in a way all religions possess some degree of syncretism. It’s how humans work. Even if you believe God (or gods) delivered a particular idea, if that idea was completely alien to the listeners, they would not accept it. Moreover, once they receive said idea, that belief can be expressed in a variety of ways, and that expression will be coloured by other prevailing cultural ideas of the time.

Those who stand strong in their shoes, should not have to fear of others and should be able to go to others to give them their hand offering them peace. It are those who are afraid of their own believes that they or others around them could loose it that bring fear to themselves and others. They create a fertile ground for problems and more than once also of hate and negative attitude to others.

Non-believers may accuse the God or the gods as responsible for all trouble in this world. Because many Christians advocate their God is behind all that is good in the world, they think God should also be responsible for all the badness there is in the world. What they do not seem to understand that when God allows human beings to be free and to make their own choices, people themselves can make good or bad choices which will have their consequences for others in their environment as well.

It is not because in the Bible God gives His Word and tells us that He creates light but also creates darkness and that He makes peace, and creates evil, that it is God Who makes that badness or war in the world. It means that God allows it to be there because man has chosen to go his own way (in the Garden of Eden).  The God and the bad are in this world, created by God, but what can be bad for some one or something can be good for someone or something else. Certain plants are poisons for certain animals and people but for others they are necessary to survive. God claims not responsibility for wars, diseases, smallpox, bacteria, etc.; but He claims to be the One Who allows it to exist, and that is a big difference.

Those who want to call themselves “Children of God” do have to follow God His rules. He has given humankind His Laws which would make the best of the world and which would bring peace all over the world. In case much more people would follow the Laws of the Divine Creator there would be much more peace in the world.

Christianity Today

Christianity Today (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Those who call themselves Christian should have the Spirit of God in them which imparts love,inspires hope, and gives liberty. All Christians should in a way have the same aim to bring others to the narrow gate of the Kingdom of God and to show others the peace we all can have because Jesus nailed the agony, pains and troubles on the wooden stake (‘the cross‘). They all should Love and cultivate that which is pure. they should not be afraid to show Tenderness and kindness because they are not signs of weakness and despair. They should try to Work together with joy and pray with love, and Guard well within themselves that treasure, kindness.

First on the agenda of a Christian should be Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word. They all should consider themselves as part of the Body of Christ, all being as part of the same family of God. United people under Christ. We all, believers and non-believers or different believers, should try to Sow and harvests in the garden of our heart.

Some years ago you could find everywhere running on the streets people “speaking”, “running”, and coming up for Christ? Perhaps it is high time we could see again such runners or Bloggers for Christ and Bloggers for Peace.

Trying to bring peace, there has to be peace at first in the own heart. Also the person has to have respect for others their beliefs. No matter what they might believe they should be fully recognised as worthy humans deserving full attention and love. Every human being should come to the understanding that it has to respect any other human being, animal and plant. We should treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves. In case a person wants to have a religion to feel himself good or to be at ease, he should be able to do so, whatever religion that person may choose. We never may impose our beliefs on others. We should leave everybody the freedom to choose which way they want to go, what to believe, and how to build up their own life. Any religious matter should be an option for private belief, without any pressure from others, be it by reason, science or rational argument. But it would not have to mean we may not discuss it. Any argument should be made in a peaceful manner and with respect for the other person his way of thinking.

Be it adherents of main religions, smaller religious groups or no religion at all, all people should come to strive for the same peace, being able to live one next to the other, in peace and tranquillity.

+

Please do find additional reading:

  1. The business of this life
  2. Did the Inspirator exist
  3. “Who is The Most High” ? Who is thee Eternal? Who is Yehovah? Who is God?
  4. Only one God
  5. God is One
  6. God of gods
  7. A god between many gods
  8. Sayings around God
  9. Attributes of God
  10. God is Spirit
  11. The Divine name of the Creator
  12. God about His name “יהוה“
  13. Jehovah Yahweh Gods Name
  14. One God the Father, a compendium of essays
  15. The Trinity: paganism or Christianity?
  16. Christianity without the Trinity
  17. People Seeking for God 1 Looking for answers
  18. People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations
  19. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  20. People Seeking for God 7 The Lord and lords
  21. Finding God amid all the religious externals
  22. Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God
  23. יהוה , YHWH and Love: Four-letter words
  24. The radiance of God’s glory and the counsellor
  25. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love
  26. Experiencing God
  27. Cosmos creator and human destiny
  28. Of the many books Only the Bible can transform
  29. Faith
  30. Do not forget the important sign of belief
  31. Christian values and voting not just a game
  32. Lord or Yahuwah, Yeshua or Yahushua
  33. Yahushua, Yehoshua, Yeshua, Jehoshua of Jeshua
  34. God’s Salvation
  35. A fact of History or just a fancy Story
  36. He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
  37. Jesus begotten Son of God #12 Son of God
  38. Christ begotten through the power of the Holy Spirit
  39. Who was Jesus?
  40. Jesus spitting image of his father
  41. Jesus and his God
  42. Is Jesus God?Jesus and His God
  43. Reasons that Jesus was not God
  44. Jesus is the Son of God but Not God the Son
  45. How much was Jesus man, and how much was he God?
  46. On the Nature of Christ
  47. Yeshua a man with a special personality
  48. Jesus Messiah
  49. A man with an outstanding personality
  50. One Mediator between God and man
  51. One mediator
  52. Salvation, trust and action in Jesus #3 as a Christian
  53. The wrong hero
  54. The Immeasurable Grace bestowed on humanity
  55. Patriarch Abraham, Muslims, Christians and the son of God
  56. The Law of Christ: Law of Love
  57. Christ’s ethical teaching
  58. Christianity is a love affair
  59. The Law of Christ: Law of Love
  60. The task given to us to love each other
  61. Agape, a love to share with others from the Fruit of the Spirit
  62. Church sent into the world
  63. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  64. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  65. Are Christians prepared to Rejoice in the Lord
  66. American atheists most religiously literate Americans
  67. Men of faith
  68. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #1 Christian Reform
  69. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #2 Roots of Jewishness
  70. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #3 Of the earth or of God
  71. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #4 Mozaic and Noachide laws
  72. The builder of the Kingdom
  73. Kingdom of God what will it be like
  74. The hands of God’s wrath
  75. Science, belief, denial and visibility 1
  76. Science, belief, denial and visibility 2
  77. Faith related boycotts
  78. Right to be in the surroundings
  79. Many churches
  80. Breathing and growing with no heir
  81. A Society pleading poverty
  82. Casual Christians
  83. Quakertime
  84. Anti-Semitic incidents in Australia in 2012 highest ever on record
  85. Manifests for believers #3 Catholic versus Protestant
  86. Roman Catholic Church at war
  87. Christian clergyman defiling book which did not belong to him
  88. Consequences of Breivik’s mass murder
  89. Representatives of the “Slave Class” or the Real “faithful and discreet slave”
  90. Mormons again gaining some attention
  91. Mormons, just an other faith
  92. Myanmar imposing population control on Muslim minority
  93. How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice
  94. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  95. Looking for True Spirituality 1 Intro
  96. Looking for True Spirituality 2 Not restricted to an elite
  97. Looking for True Spirituality 3 Mind of Christ
  98. Looking for True Spirituality 4 Getting to Know the Mind of Christ
  99. Looking for True Spirituality 5 Fruitage of the Spirit
  100. Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer
  101. Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News
  102. Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up
  103. Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience
  104. Fruits of the spirit will prevent you from being either inactive or unfruitful
  105. Those who make peace should plant peace like a seed
  106. Let me saw beliefseeds
  107. Bringing Good News into the world
  108. The Involvement of true discipleship
  109. Testify of the things heard
  110. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  111. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  112. Obstacles to effective evangelism
  113. A Voice to be heard
  114. Creator and Blogger God 4 Expounding voice
  115. Blogging for Jesus…
  116. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  117. Words to push and pull
  118. Good or bad preacher
  119. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  120. How should we preach?
  121. Breathing to teach
  122. Bringing Good News into the world
  123. Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news
  124. Holland Week of billing
  125. Trying to get the youth inspired
  126. When discouraged facing opposition
  127. Messengers of Jesus will be hated to the end of time
  128. Who are you going to reach out to today
  129. Praise the God with His Name
  130. Agape, a love to share with others from the Fruit of the Spirit
  131. The Spirit of God brings love, hope and freedom
  132. Holiness and expression of worship coming from inside
  133. Belonging to or being judged by
  134. Not all will inherit the Kingdom
  135. Preparedness to change
  136. Knowing where to go to
  137. United people under Christ
  138. Fellowship
  139. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  140. Pastorpreneur Warren
  141. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  142. Anti-Semitism ‘on the rise’ in Europe
  143. Which Christians Actually Evangelize
  144. Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience
  145. We have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace
  146. Choose you this day whom ye will serveIt is a free will choice
  147. The Spirit of God imparts love,inspires hope, and gives liberty
  148. Philosophy hand in hand with spirituality

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Further reading:

  1. What Evidence is There That God Exists?
  2. What is faith and is it the only thing required
  3. We Have the Best Home
  4. Understanding faith for our salvation
  5. Atheist Purpose and Meaning :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction
  6. Against Religion? :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction
  7. Can A Theist Appreciate Baggini’s Atheism? :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction
  8. Can Genuine Christians Be Trinitarian or Non-Trinitarian?
  9. Trinity Doctrine vs Oneness Pentecostalism Doctrine – Berean Perspective Podcast
  10. The Trinity: A Fundamental of the Faith or a Fable?
  11. The Unitarian Universalist Church: A Personal Encounter
  12. Unitarianism and the Bible of the Holy Trinity
  13. The Doctrine Of The Trinity
  14. The Unholy Trinity
  15. God, the Trinity
  16. Trinity And Pagan Influence
  17. Trinity: A False Doctrine of a False Church
  18. The Trinity – A Doctrine Overdue for Extinction
  19. Jesus Christ and God – Some Basic Considerations
  20. Defining Christianity (reneland.wordpress.com)
    Simply put a Christian is someone who believes in Jesus Christ.
  21. Cult or True Religion
  22. The Whore of Babylon? (inpursuitofhappiness.wordpress.com)
    Baal-vs-The “Catholic” God
  23. The Top Ten Most Important Church Councils
  24. Cult or True Religion (wordsonsergebenhayon.wordpress.com)
    “…if you believe in it, it is a religion or perhaps ‘the’ religion; and if you do not care one way or another about it, it is a sect; but if you fear and hate it, it is a cult.” Leo Pfeffer.
    +The Roman Catholic Church for example has been around ever since Constantine. He was a Roman emperor who used Christianity, which was a small cult at the time, as a means to impose his belief systems on the bishops; so he promulgated the council of Nicaea and thereby gained control of the populus. Now, over 1500 years later, people in Catholic churches today still recite the creed set down by Constantine.
    Many people question the Catholic Church and other religions, seeing them as some of the biggest cults in the World today: they are viewed by many as man-made constructs which have the potential to lead millions of people astray. Religion in its current form has become divisive due to it’s many man-made and dualistic doctrines which continue to divide, separate and cause wars.
  25. Billy Graham: Mormonism No Cult
  26. Mormons off Graham’s ‘cult’ list
  27. Is the Mormon “god” of Mitt Romney and Glenn Beck, the True God or a False “god”? Is Jesus the brother of Lucifer?
  28. Can A Cult Member Be President Without Cult Influence?
  29. Billy Graham Offers To Help Mormon Mitt Romney And Then Removes Section From Website Calling Mormonism A Cult! (soulrefuge.org)
    The scriptures make it very clear that true believers in Jesus Christ should not be “yoked” together with unbelievers. Why would any true Christian want to help and support a Mormon who teaches that Jesus Christ is the spirit brother of Lucifer?
  30. Billy Graham’s group removes Mormon cult reference from website after Romney meeting (religion.blogs.cnn.com)
    Shortly after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney enjoyed cookies and soft drinks with the Rev.  Billy Graham and his son Franklin Graham on Thursday at the elder Graham’s mountaintop retreat, a reference to Mormonism as a cult was scrubbed from the website of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

    Billy Graham site removes Mormon 'cult' reference after Romney meeting

    Billy Graham site removes Mormon ‘cult’ reference after Romney meeting

    +
    The removal of the post from the Graham group’s website was first noted by the New Civil Rights Movement website and then later by the Asheville Citizen-Times, which reported that the information on cults was accessed as recently as Thursday afternoon.
    +
    When asked about Graham’s beliefs about Mormonism, Graham spokesman A. Larry Ross said in a statement that “Through an inclusive evangelistic ministry spanning more than 60 years, Mr. Graham was called to preach the transformative message of the Gospel to the whole world, regardless of one’s religious background, affiliation or none. As such, he never proselytized, targeted or labeled specific people, groups, faiths or denominations.

  31. Billy Graham’s Truce with Mormonism; Scrubs Cult Reference (crooksandliars.com)
    The Christian right has cried uncle and issued a truce on Mormons to try and help elect Mitt Romney.
    +
    During the Values Voter Summit in October, sponsored in part by the influential Family Research Council and the American Family Association, it caused quite a stir when Pastor Robert Jeffress, after introducing Rick Perry as a genuine Christian, called Mormonism a cult.
    +
    Christian political operatives are willing to throw away any trace of their contempt for Mormonism during the election cycle. This shows how much hatred they have for the left. They’d rather help elect a ‘cultist’ to the highest office in the land rather than stick to their alleged principles. Typically sickening.
    +
    To distinguish between a cult and a religion is to distinguish between influence and impotence. Both are, in fact, spawns of a smarmy fakery.
  32. ‘Mormonism’ Taken off Site’s Cult List (abcnews.go.com)
    The prominent Christian evangelist Billy Graham has taken public steps to embrace Mitt Romney for president this week, removing Romney’s Mormon religion from a list of cults on his website and taking out an advertisement that appears to urge people to vote for Romney.
  33. Jehovah’s Witnesses (calltoprayerministries.wordpress.com) {the writer of this article does not seem to see what it really means to be a ‘Christian’ and wants to take hold only on a sort-sighted vision.}
    Jehovah’s Witnesses come up in conversation more times than one might think. I guess that it’s because there are many people who know JW’s and there don’t seem to be many obvious differences between their faith and ours. Many JW’s are nice people, talk about Jesus, share their faith, and care about their families… just like Christians. So what are the differences? Are they just a different kind of Christian?

+++

  • Who is God? (richlewis3.wordpress.com)
    El Shaddai means God Almighty, God of the mountains.
  • “The God of Of Salvation, The Lord Of Death” (settledinheaven.wordpress.com)
    The God that we can call our own, is “the God of salvation” or, in other words, He is “the Mighty One that controls the deliverance of His people.”  Here, once again we can see a physical and spiritual aspect to this text…
  • Bush Era to Blame for Renewed Interest in Mainline? (religiondispatches.org)
    Jennifer Schuessler, who covers the academic beat for the New York Times, discusses the resurgence of scholarship on people long since thought to have been dead and passed from the scene: dead, (mostly) white, mainstream/liberal/mainline/ecumenical Protestants.In assessing the roots of a surge of work on 20th-century liberal Protestantism, including works such as Matt Hedstrom’s The Rise of Liberal Religion, Jill Gill’s Embattled Ecumenism, David Burns’ The Life and Death of the Radical Historical Jesus, and Elesha Coffman’s The Christian Century and the Rise of the Mainline, the article notes:The surge of interest in liberal religion, many say, reflects the renewed vitality of religious history more generally, which has spread beyond its traditional redoubts in divinity schools to become one of the most popular specializations among academic historians, according to the American Historical Association.Some scholars say that frustration with the perceived cultural and political dominance of evangelicals in the Bush era gave the subject extra urgency.
  • How America’s Endless Civil War Between Protestant Sects Is at the Heart of American Identity (alternet.org)
    Jennifer Schuessler, who covers the academic beat for the New York Times, discusses the resurgence of scholarship on people long since thought to have been dead and passed from the scene: dead, (mostly) white, mainstream/liberal/mainline/ecumenical Protestants.In assessing the roots of a surge of work on 20th-century liberal Protestantism, including works such as Matt Hedstrom’s The Rise of Liberal Religion, Jill Gill’s Embattled Ecumenism, David Burns’ The Life and Death of the Radical Historical Jesus, and Elesha Coffman’s The Christian Century and the Rise of the Mainline, the article notes:The surge of interest in liberal religion, many say, reflects the renewed vitality of religious history more generally, which has spread beyond its traditional redoubts in divinity schools to become one of the most popular specializations among academic historians, according to the American Historical Association.Some scholars say that frustration with the perceived cultural and political dominance of evangelicals in the Bush era gave the subject extra urgency.
    +

    Jennifer Schuessler, who covers the academic beat for the New York Times, discusses the resurgence of scholarship on people long since thought to have been dead and passed from the scene: dead, (mostly) white, mainstream/liberal/mainline/ecumenical Protestants.

    In assessing the roots of a surge of work on 20th-century liberal Protestantism, including works such as Matt Hedstrom’s The Rise of Liberal Religion, Jill Gill’s Embattled Ecumenism, David Burns’ The Life and Death of the Radical Historical Jesus, and Elesha Coffman’s The Christian Century and the Rise of the Mainline, the article notes:

    The surge of interest in liberal religion, many say, reflects the renewed vitality of religious history more generally, which has spread beyond its traditional redoubts in divinity schools to become one of the most popular specializations among academic historians, according to the American Historical Association.

    Some scholars say that frustration with the perceived cultural and political dominance of evangelicals in the Bush era gave the subject extra urgency.
    +

    Jennifer Schuessler, who covers the academic beat for the New York Times, discusses the resurgence of scholarship on people long since thought to have been dead and passed from the scene: dead, (mostly) white, mainstream/liberal/mainline/ecumenical Protestants.

    In assessing the roots of a surge of work on 20th-century liberal Protestantism, including works such as Matt Hedstrom’s The Rise of Liberal Religion, Jill Gill’s Embattled Ecumenism, David Burns’ The Life and Death of the Radical Historical Jesus, and Elesha Coffman’s The Christian Century and the Rise of the Mainline, the article notes:

    The surge of interest in liberal religion, many say, reflects the renewed vitality of religious history more generally, which has spread beyond its traditional redoubts in divinity schools to become one of the most popular specializations among academic historians, according to the American Historical Association.

    Some scholars say that frustration with the perceived cultural and political dominance of evangelicals in the Bush era gave the subject extra urgency.

  • Make your pick: Do Mainline Protestants need a new name? (religionnews.com)
    Mainline Protestants  made up 18 percent of U.S. adults in 2008. Fifty years ago, its members were the church of the Establishment.
    +
    Forget labels: Everyone and his brother, left or right, calls himself an evangelical. No one will admit to being a fundamentalist since its original religious meaning was overtaken by crazies like David Koresh. It takes Pew Research experts 20 minutes to delineate who is a Jew and they still offer a definition matrix. So let the branding go.
  • Are there dividing lines between Mainline and Evangelical? (unsettledchristianity.com)
    There is a great move towards social justice in many Evangelical (sub)groups and for that, I thank God. Do you think the view on Scripture and Tradition (Scripture is infallible in all things, Tradition is near to worthless) is a good start for a line?
    +
    But the dividing line between Mainline (which seems not to be something negative) and Evangelical (some people use this correctly, others not) is not so easy to grasp. I’m guessing because “Mainline” means, for a lot of people, a dying breed of Christianity. Evangelical means… well, it seems for Mainliners it means those who go and witness/serve for the Gospel. For Evangelicals, this term helps to codify something different.
  • MainlineDecline, Decline-Talk, and Decline-ism — Sightings (Martin Marty) (bobcornwall.com)
    You have heard it many times Mainline Protestant churches are in decline, but then so are most other forms of religion.  Attendance has not kept up with growth in population, etc.
    +
    Why point out decline among the religions when Sightings’ role is to spot and explore religion in outstanding events? What goes on here with “decline?” A fad? Maybe “decline” is not occurring. This claim is hard to support. Maybe headline writers are concentrating on the wrong aspects of religion. Maybe they are exhibiting the old “be-the-first-kid-on-your-block” syndrome, seeking to be a jump ahead, to get a scoop. Maybe enemies of religious institutions of all sorts are enjoying mass Schadenfreude, enjoying the misfortunes of others. Whatever else is going on, noticing this phenomenon should be liberating: we are henceforth allowed to yawn when one more headline-writer tries to play catch-up.
  • When the Christian Global South Heads West (juicyecumenism.com)
    Between 1910 and 2010, the global center of Christianity shifted from Spain to Timbuktu. As far back as 1980, there have been more Christians living in the Global South than in the first world. On any given Sunday, there are more Christians attending church in China than in the United States or Europe.
    +
    Hanciles also noted, with some disappointment with how the financial and political power in US mainline denominations remains in West, even when Africans outnumber them. “We might have to challenge the term “Anglican”, which of course means English,” he said. Hanciles spoke approvingly of African churches in the United States, which he claimed were very little-e evangelistic in their outlook.
    +
    Professor Virginia Garrard-Burnett of the University of Texas-Austin spoke at length about the religious tendencies of Latino migrants, including the often overlooked Protestant Latinos. Roughly 1/4 of Latino immigrants are Protestant, most of which are Pentecostal. Catholic Churches in the US that cater to these immigrants often take on charismatic forms of worship, she noted, often causing friction with existing native Americans. Latin-American Protestant churches take part in almost “reverse missionary” work, where churches in the Global South send people to minister to those in America. She cited the example of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, the third-largest denomination in Brazil, whose presence in the US is mostly mission work to Latin-American migrants.
  • Inoculated Against Christianity? (thelittleredblog.typepad.com)
    “The post-Christian world has been inoculated against Christianity because, over 1500 years, we never managed to give it true Christianity. ‘Found difficult and left untried,’ indeed. And this is to our demerit. There are also many, many things over these 1500 years to be proud about, and Christendom, for all its flaws, was probably better than the alternatives. But now we’re reaping what we’re sowing. We created this generation of post-Christians whom we vaccinated against Christianity. Thankfully, viruses mutate and occasionally beat vaccines.  In the meantime, if our aim is a fantasy of Christendom rather than Christ and His Cross, we are being idolaters.”I’m not sure that “probably better than the alternatives” is much of an endorsement.  Mr. Gobry’s point, however, is to distinguish between Christendom, Christianity, and following Jesus: a dilemma yet to be resolved for some 2000 years.  I await Gobry’s further insights with genuine interest.
  • The Coming Schism (wmbriggs.com)
    Maybe it’s not a schism but apostasy which I mean. Doesn’t matter. Continuing in our Curmudgeon Series, here are my guesses of the course of Christianity in the West over the next twenty years. Each point below deserves its own essay: these are rough points.
    +
    Since elites of secular institutions only truly care about elites at other institutions, the leadership of these churches won’t want to fall behind the CofE. They’ll issue cheerful press releases boasting love and then arm wrestle for who gets to perform the first homosexual ceremony. Most denominations already allow homosexual clergy.Theologically, since going to a service at a mainline Protestant church will increasingly be no different than reading the New York Times or Guardian op-ed section, which is more convenient and saves on gas, those willing to make the trek will dwindle and die off. If you’re in the market for an old church (aren’t they quaint?), look to the Methodists and Presbyterians. Besides, members are tired of being called stupid and irrational by the culture.
  • Stuart Murray on Christendom (abnormalanabaptist.wordpress.com)
    Anabaptists identify the “Christendom shift” in the 4th century as the time when Jesus began to be marginalized.
    +
    Anabaptist are convinced that, whatever its undoubtful benefits, the Christendom system seriously distorted Christian faith: the price the church paid for coming in from the margins was allowing Jesus to be pushed out from the center to the margins – Stuart MurrayThe Naked Anabaptist, Herald Press, 2010, p 52
  • Unitarianism and the Bible of the Holy Trinity (afkimel.wordpress.com)
    I do not know if it’s happening throughout worldwide evangelicalism or is restricted to the more intellectually inclined; but I have noticed a curious phenomenon on the internet—a movement amongst evangelicals from trinitarian to unitarian faith. This movement does not necessarily entail the rejection of the teaching of Jesus nor even rejection of the confession of Jesus as Lord and Savior. It is a unitarianism that can accommodate the kind of subordinationism characteristic of some of the second and third century Church Fathers: Jesus and the Spirit are “divine” (in some sense), but only the Father is the one God. Consider, for example, a recent blog article by Kermit Zarley: “Can Genuine Christians Be Trinitarian or Non-Trinitarian?
  • Why converting Muslims is taboo in the Catholic Church (catholicherald.co.uk)
    What are they talking about at the Synod for Evangelisation? This article by Sandro Magister tells us that the Bishops have broached the taboo subject of conversions from Islam to Christianity. It makes interesting reading, despite the rather ponderous translation, (read the original here ) and I was particularly struck by this section of it, which I beg readers to consider carefully:“The Muslims do not see the difference between Christians and Westerners, because they do not distinguish, themselves, between what is religious and what is political and social. What precedes the Westerners is perceived by the Muslims as preceding the Christians. Now, Western behaviour, especially on the cultural and political level and in a general way, harms the religious and national sensitivity of the Muslims, their values, their ethics and their culture. Consequentially, this forms an obstacle to their openness to Christianity and to their possible evangelisation.”
  • Billy Graham: Mormonism No Cult (orthodoxyandheterodoxy.org)
    Sociologists of religion use cult to refer to a religious group that does not regard itself as exclusively true yet has negative relations with the surrounding society. Those two factors—exclusivity and societal relations—form the basis for sociological definition of religions into four kinds of groups: church (exclusive with good relations), denomination (inclusive with good relations), sect (exclusive with bad relations) and cult (inclusive with bad relations). Yet almost no one uses these terms in the way sociologists of religion use them.
    +I think what is really meant by cult in most modern Evangelical parlance is “bad/weird religious group.” And of course perhaps such a definition is right in its own way.
  • Grahams tighten Romney ties (newsobserver.com)
    The election-year embrace of Mitt Romney by some evangelical Christians now borders on a bear hug, given a series of moves by Billy Graham and his family that appear to say it’s OK to vote for a Mormon.
  • Billy Graham website admits scrubbing ‘Mormons’ from ‘cult’ list after endorsing Romney (rawstory.com)
    The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association confirmed on Tuesday that it had removed all references to Mormonism as a “cult” from its website after their founder announced his support of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
  • Why I Am a Christian. (crawfordgarrett.wordpress.com)
    I have to admit that it’s not always the most simple and straightforward answer to give, because there are many reasons that have led to my faith in Christ.  However, I guess the first place to start is with my parents.  I am a Christian because of my parents.  There may be nothing remarkable about that, and often times I, or many other Christians, would not like to admit that truth.  I am a Christian because my parents are Christians, and that’s what they raised me to believe, just like Jesus was a Jew because His parents were Jews.
  • Christ didn’t come to help us, He came to Include us (melwild.wordpress.com)
    a surprising few resonate so much to the more important fact that the Father’s plan was to substitute Christ for us and place us in Him. I think this is unfortunate.
  • Jesus Christ was an Anarchist (blacksupremacylovenunity.wordpress.com) > Jesus Christ was an Anarchist
    Jesus came along to lead his followers out of this ungodly Roman system, preaching an alternative form of government. He spoke of a jurisdiction outside of the Roman state, based on the perfect law of freedom, outside the tyranny of men who would rule over their brothers and neighbors. He unified the early Christian church in a system of charity, hope and respect for the rights of each other, requiring that each person love thy neighbor as thy self in a system of mutual, not governmental support.
    +
    Jesus was showing a way to untangle people from the captivity of the social contracts they had made with the state of Rome and Judea, and the tribute and obligations they had become snared by. He proclaimed to call no man “Father”, as they called their Roman benefactors, but stated that “thou Father art in heaven.” The perfect law of freedom indicated that man’s unalienable rights stemmed from God and nature, and not governments of men. This was a system of anarchy, by strict definition, without the complex system of tribute that led to the decadence and decline of society, and the corruptible force of the state to back it up.The early Christian church was not persecuted for their belief in a different God or a Kingdom in Heaven, but for their opting out of the mutual taxation system and seeking to live apart from the kings and overlords, the gods many, who demanded their tribute.
    +Today, most of us find ourselves under slothful tribute to an emperor and a system that is not for our benefit. We have coveted our neighbor’s goods in a vain pursuit of “free” health care, education, welfare, unemployment benefits, social security and government protection. We have traded our inalienable God-given rights through social contracts both implied and explicit. Our churches are not ordained by God, but are 501(c)(3) corporations granted status by the state.As we head into what is certainly going to be a volatile 2014, we are going to need to dig down deep and find that anarchist in all of us, with a little more loving thy neighbor as thy self to boot.
  • Fanatic hindu who hated christians is an evidence of Jesus (pciniraj.wordpress.com)
    I never liked Christian missionaries. I used to speak against Christianity and was organising people near the temples against the evangelism activites.“But Lord Jesus mightly fighting for His children, if anybody persecuting Christians, for which I am a clear evidence”, now I am witnessing this every corner to corner by holding the Holy Bible in one hand and showing my terrific stomach to the public. “I was an enemy of Christians, but Jesus Christ loved me, made me alive and saved me from sin and death. Now I am His servant”. This is my testimony.
  • Pouring Into Others (comeawake.org)
    If you are a Christian, you are a disciple of Christ. You know Him, but what have you done to make Him known to others? And I’m not just talking about evangelism. I’m talking about how you can use your time, your energy and most importantly, your knowledge about who Christ is to help out a fellow brother or sister.The purpose of our lives is simply this: To know Christ, and to make Him known.
  • A Bad Reason for Thinking that Atheism is not a Religion (maverickphilosopher.typepad.com)
    a mere lack of belief in something cannot be a religion.  But atheism is not a mere lack of belief in something.  If atheism is just the lack of god-belief, then tables and chairs are atheists.  For they lack god-belief. Am I being uncharitable?  Suppose someone defines atheism more carefully as lack of god-belief in beings capable of having  beliefs.  That is still unacceptable.  Consider a child who lacks both god-belief and god-disbelief.  If lacking god-belief makes him an atheist, then lacking god-disbelief makes him a theist.  So he is both, which is absurd.Obviously,  atheism is is not a mere lack of belief, but a definite belief, namely, the belief that the world is godless.  Atheism is a claim about the way things are: there is no such thing as the God of Judaism, or the God of Christianity, or the God of Islam, or the gods of the Greek pantheon, or . . . etc.  The atheist has a definite belief about the ontological inventory: it does not include God or gods or any reasonable facsimile thereof such as the Plotinian One, etc.  Note also that if you deny that any god exists, then you are denying that the universe is created by God: you are saying something quite positive about the ontological status of the universe, namely, that it does not depend for its existence on a being transcendent of it.  And if it does not so depend, then that implies that it exists on its own as a brute fact or that it necessarily exists or that it causes itself to exist.  Without getting into all the details here, the point is that if you deny that God exists, this is not just a denial  of the existence of a certain being, but implies a positive claim about the ontological status of the universe.  What’s more, if  there is no creator God, then the apparent order of the universe, its apparent designedness, is merely apparent.  This is a positive thesis about the nature of the physical universe.Atheism, then, is not a mere lack of god-belief.  For it implies definite positive beliefs about reality as a whole and  about the nature and mode of existence of the physical universe.
  • Atheism Was the First to Show Me Compassion (jessedooley.wordpress.com)
    what is the issue with the idea of God that pushes most atheists to reject religion and to see it as the supreme evil?
    +
    When the tribal deity is the supreme king, and that deity is interpreted from a fundamentalist, all-or-nothing approach, then nothing can penetrate or alter that worldview, regardless of the reasonableness of the argument.
  • Are Liberals Too “Special” to Go to Church? (religiondispatches.org)
    New research from psychologists from the New York University suggests that the desire to feel unique can undermine consensus, cohesion, and mobilization—at least in political contexts.
    +
    Stern, et al found that “liberals underestimated their similarity to other liberals, whereas moderates and conservatives overestimated their similarity to other moderates and conservatives.”Further, the researchers found that liberals “possess a greater dispositional desire to be unique,” which, they suggest, “likely undermines their ability to capitalize on the consensus that actually exists within their ranks and hinders successful group mobilization.” The “desire to conform” among moderates and, to a greater extent, conservatives, likewise, “allows them to perceive consensus that does not actually exist and, in turn, rally their base.”Liberals, that is, emphasize in their beliefs, actions, and self-understanding uniqueness, creativity, and non-conformity even in the face of sameness. Moderates and conservatives, by contrast, focus on similarity and commonality even when little may in fact exist.
  • Are Esoteric Teachings Missing from Christianity? (jesusweddingthebook.wordpress.com)
    In my opinion, Christianity is the only tradition that openly celebrates both spiritual paths. I can agree that there is no secret teaching, because both spiritual paths are out in the open for everyone to see. However, by definition, the esoteric teaching is the second leg of the spiritual journey. The esoteric teaching does not have to be “secret” in order to maintain its mystery. The mystery of the esoteric path can only be revealed when the exoteric path or first leg of the spiritual journey is fully completed.
  • Discovering the Truth (cosmicmacduff.wordpress.com)
    for me it has been and is the walking that is important, not any place that I might arrive at or achievement I might accomplish.  I think that I have discovered  a lot since I started, but do not consider myself “enlightened”,  just aware of who  I am.  For me this primary truth, a recognition that there was/is something  more to me (my soul)  than my physical body, is what allowed me and still allows me, to find meaning and purpose in life.
  • Am I A Religious Person? (elephantjournal.com) + But is it my religion?
    I’ve heard it said that religion is having someone else’s spiritual experience and spirituality is having your own. It’s certainly true that some Buddhists venerate the Buddha or other teachers to such a high degree that they are just having the Buddha’s experience and not their own. I don’t do that. The Buddha warned us against doing that. He said, “Don’t worship me,” and right after his death, people started doing it.
  • Religion and Young People: The Lost Generation? (collectionofclancy.wordpress.com)
    I know of many relatives, friends and people I’ve met in general who are either agnostic or atheist and I don’t judge them for it. However what kills me is that their status gives me the feeling that they are the smarter and more enlightened people. But on the other side, the church gives me the feeling that because I have more liberal beliefs means I cannot truly be as good as the devout. A rock/hard place moment.
  • Does Religion Shape a Person? (meesh14102.wordpress.com)
    Atheism is my own personal belief and I understand and respect everyone else’s religious beliefs. I simply want to talk about the idea of religion shaping a person.
    +
    I don’t need a God to influence a good and honest behavior. My mom told me to never speak of my new belief (or lack  there of) ever again and to Never tell my father. I respected these wishes and continue to keep my thoughts about God and religion to myself. I believe a persons’ inner self shapes their character. I do not believe religion is what influences a good or bad character.Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and should live so accordingly!
  • Haunting the chapel: my thoughts on heavy metal and religion. (seanmunger.com)
    Is heavy metal inherently anti-religious? Having been virtually a lifelong metalhead, I can say from experience that many people, both within and without the scene, believe that it is, or should be. Critique of organized religion or aspects of it has been a common lyrical and thematic element in metal for decades.
  • Ask an Atheist: The Usual Questions (csgroome.wordpress.com)
    Atheism differs from religion, because we are not certain and would change our views if given evidence, but we are convinced by the lack of evidence and by all rational argument, that appealing to myths from intellectually dark parts of human history can not even begin to give us answers to any questions, even moral or epistemological ones.
    +
    Religion lies outside science and evidence, so you can’t prove it wrong. Why can’t you just accept this and that people want to live with a belief in a greater being?
    +
    I could believe whatever I want if it made me happy. But in all other ways, except for a religious conviction, the believer of a claim unprovable by science immediately pays a social price.
    +
    The absence of a belief is never a motivation, and while Communism may be a secular ideology, this does not mean that all atheists or secularists are communists and it certainly does not mean that we would wish to kill or destroy religious people or religious infrastructure.
  • All BEings are Divine (amuseinharmony.wordpress.com)
    all beings, including human beings are divine manifestations of Creator Source on the physical earth plane materialized in various forms for the purpose of expansion. the earth is mother to us all. we are organisms formed from her womb. as she ascends, so shall we. the mother loves her humans as she does all creatures or our existence would no longer be. our love and unity with her and all her inhabitants is our duty as earth walkers.
  • Dalai Lama speaks on harmony to religious followers at Tokyo temple (japandailypress.com)
    The famous leader went on to explain that most of the problems humans encounter are of their own making, and thinking that they are all different from one another. This kind of thinking has a tendency to separate people instead of uniting them. His speech centered on the essential “oneness” of all people and emphasized on the divisiveness that comes with focusing on the “them” and “us,” rather than on the “we”, as a whole. Religious harmony is one thing that His Holiness has committed himself to, and hopes that it is something that Japan can contribute to as well.
  • what is the happiest person in the world saying? (hunt4truth.wordpress.com)
    A friend wants to know if I’m still Christian. Yes, I am. Everything that I’m referring to from science and new age and Buddhist teachers is complimentary with Jesus’s teachings. I posted a couple of the most important Christian practices–in my opinion, 1 John (NIV) and the Our Father prayer are essential in Christian belief.
  • How to Argue for the Existence of God (omigassplus.wordpress.com)
    Anyone who feels God, can see and feel God inside them. They live inside God. God lives inside them. They see God as an energy that penetrates them and fills them up inside. They feel God as an energy around them and within them. They feel God touch them in their special places. They realize that God is a higher faith, a greater presence. They crave Him. They want to feel his love fill them up inside. Without God, they feel empty, unloved, lonely. Only with God inside them can they feel whole again.
  • Nineteenth Century Protestant Doctrines of the Trinity (redeemingthetext.wordpress.com)
    The discussion in chapter nineteen of The Oxford Handbook of the Trinity is, in brief form, one of how Enlightenment philosopher-theologians developed innovative ways to discuss the Trinity and their effectiveness leading into the twentieth century.
  • Hans Kung on Trinity Part 2 (presenttruthmn.org)
    This is continued from the previous post on the Trinity. It is taken directly from Hans Kung’s book ‘Christianity: Essence, History and Future’
  • A Theology Big Enough for the Gospel: Reviewing Mike Bird’s Evangelical Theology (marccortez.com)
    despite the fact that Bird mentions the image of God throughout, clearly viewing it as an important topic that has bearing on a range of other issues, he devotes only five pages to it, one of which is just a recitation of the relevant biblical verses. His excursus on infra- vs. supralapsarianism is almost as long! And union with Christ hardly gets any attention at all. In a systematic theology, pages are like currency; what you invest in shows what you value. And I was surprised at a few of the investments.
    +
    Bird affirms a social trinitarian approach, defining the divine persons as “self-aware” beings who are “capable of consciousness” (p. 615), and he even refers to separate consciousnesses in the Trinity (p. 118). Regardless of whether you think social trinitarianism is viable, Bird’s discussion simply fails to deal with the historical and theological objections that can (and have!) been raised. And unfortunately, these aren’t isolated incidents.
  • What’s Old is New Again: The Return of “Biblical Unitarianism” (southernreformation.wordpress.com)
    While I’m used to defending the deity of Christ against the Jehovah’s Witnesses, or fending off Mormon misunderstandings of the doctrine of the Trinity, I never thought I would see professing “conservative evangelicals” who were willing to jettison the central dogma that makes Christianity…Christianity.But it’s happening.
  • “Should You Believe in the Trinity?” (1peter58.wordpress.com)
    “The Bible says…” The real issue here is that these individuals, and also those that belong to very young churches/institutes, claim for themselves the authority to teach new doctrine, claim for themselves the authority to reject unchanged ancient doctrine. How do you decide when to trust that a doctrine is truly of God? How do you decide what is a false doctrine not of God?
  • Because the Bible Tells Me So (mackerelsnapperblog.wordpress.com)
    Whenever a Catholic debates the Faith with a non-Catholic — Christian or atheist — the very first argument that often gets brought up is that Catholic teaching contradicts the Scriptures.
  • Sola Scriptura? (preacheroftruth.com) + > Sola Scriptura?
    Pythagoras is said to have been the earliest outside of Scripture (Isa. 40:22) to contend that the earth is round. He did not make the earth round with his assertions, but identified what already was.  Sir Isaac Newton certainly did not create gravity, but he is credited for our modern understanding of it.  Likewise, the term “sola scriptura” is not found in scripture (similar to terms like “trinity” and “omniscience”), but it was coined during the “Reformation Movement” as part of Martin Luther’s protests against perceived corruptions of the Catholic Church.  It was a “Latin phrase (literally ‘by Scripture alone’) describing the Protestant theological principle that Scripture is the final norm in all judgments of faith and practice.
  • (1) The Two Pillars of the Reformation (altruistico.wordpress.com)
    The Protestant Reformation saw the advancement of the Gospel and an understanding of right doctrine that hadn’t been seen since the time of Christ and the Apostles. It drew Christianity out of the dark ages of the faith; a time when the Scripture was forbidden to be read in the language of the people, when superstition reigned, where abominations within the church leadership was a norm, and when a knowledge of the Truth was virtually unknown.

 

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